India captain Virat Kohli believes “lethal” left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will have a pivotal role to play during the rest of his side’s tour of England.
Yadav produced a man-of-the-match display as he finished with 5-24 in India’s emphatic eight-wicket win over England in the first Twenty20 international at Old Trafford.
England had been in a good position at 94-1 but could only post 159-8 with Yadav’s googlies at one point giving him three wickets in four balls on his way to his best figures in T20 internationals.
KL Rahul’s unbeaten 101 from 54 balls then guided India to a comfortable victory with 10 balls to spare as they produced an impressive display, backed by a partisan support on a sun-drenched Manchester evening.
Yadav’s performance was also a reminder that despite their improvement in limited-overs cricket England remain vulnerable against spin.
“He’s going to be effective on any pitches we play on,” Kohli said.
“When it turns, he’s going to be even more lethal. He’s very difficult to pick. I hope he can keep the batsmen guessing.
“Looking at how convincing we were in all three skill-sets gives me great please as captain, especially some of the younger guys stepping up and doing the job.”
With the United Kingdom enjoying a sustained spell of hot weather, Yadav said he felt comfortable at Old Trafford.
“It felt like home conditions,” he explained. “The wicket was very dry but when I bowled my first over I felt like there was going to be a bit of turn so I stuck to one line and length.
“I bowled my wrong ‘uns in the perfect areas. It’s my first tour and things are going quite well.
“Probably after this game, and for the next few games, England’s batsmen will prepare well. Obviously, they are quality players.”
The only England player to really trouble India was wicket-keeper Jos Buttler as he made a 46-ball 69 before he also succumbed to the mastery of Yadav’s googly.